Regional Trend jobs data shows Cairns participation increase holding up unemployment rate

Today’s release by the ABS of regional jobs data is best seen through the lens of the Conus Trend series. What this shows us is Trend unemployment in Greater Brisbane at 5.8% while the Rest of Queensland sits at 6.1%, However, over the past year Greater Brisbane (with employment growth of 5.1%) has seen the unemployment rate drop just 0.2% while the Rest of Queensland (despite slower employment growth at 4.3%) has dropped 0.3%. The apparent paradox caused by Greater Brisbane participation rising faster then Rest of Queensland (+1.9 ppts versus +1.4 ppts).

Greater Brisbane has added 60,900 to employment over the year with 34,900 of those being full-time. The Rest of Queensland has added just 49,500 to Trend employment but the vast bulk (42,500) have been full-time. Trend employment growth in both regions is considerably faster than the nation as a whole which sits at 3.3%.

The Conus Trend median duration of search for work in Queensland now sits at 22 weeks (after Dec was revised down from 25 weeks) which remains longer than the national median of 16 weeks.

In our own area Cairns sees 100 added to Trend employment in January although a stronger participation means this has the Trend unemployment rate lift slightly to 6.2%. Over the course of the past 12 months the region has added 2,200 to Trend employment at a rate of 1.9% (well below state and national averages). Nevertheless, full-time positions are up 5,500 (+7.2% y/y) while part-time employment has seen declines. The Trend median search for work now sits at 26 weeks (although the chart below makes clear how volatile this original data set can be!).

In Townsville Trend employment remained unchanged in Jan, although it is up 9,100 for the year (at a rate of +9.3%). Unlike in Cairns┬áless than 50% of the new employment was full-time (+4,100). The Trend unemployment rate lifted slightly to 9.4% after Dec was revised down from 9.6% to 9.2% (this is the 2nd highest in the state after Outback). Trend participation is unchanged although Dec’s number was revised lower. The Trend median search for work in the region remained unchanged at 34 weeks.

The full Conus Trend data set for Queensland regional jobs is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data (for non-commercial purposes) but we would appreciate you acknowledging Conus when you do so.

Conus Trend Regional Jobs QLD – Jan 2018





  1. Mark Beath says:

    February 22nd, 2018 at 4:13 am

    We should note here that serving military personnel are excluded from the ABS survey. This probably makes a difference in Townsville more than anywhere else.

  2. Pete Faulkner says:

    February 22nd, 2018 at 4:23 am

    That’s a fair point Mark, although obviously that has always been the case so year on year comparisons are unaffected.

Leave a Response

  • © Conus Business Consultancy Services 2024

    Website created by RJ New Designs